back to article Scientists make spin ice breakthrough

Researchers at the Paul Scherrer Institute and ETH Zurich in Switzerland have managed to accomplish a technological breakthrough that could lead to new forms of low-energy supercomputing. It's based around something called artificial spin ice: think of water molecules freezing into a crystalline lattice of ice, and then …

  1. An_Old_Dog Bronze badge
    Headmaster

    Terminology

    Regarding "artificial kagome spin ice": the word kagome looked Japanese to me, and a search of JDICT turned up a single meaning, "woven bamboo pattern".

    What's the difference between ordinary artificial spin ice, and artificial kagome spin ice?

    1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: Terminology

      Kagome refers to the Kagome or trihexagonal lattice. And yes, it's used in Japanese basket making, but there's also a lot of interesting physics involving kagome lattice shaped things.

  2. DJO Silver badge

    And thus it starts

    Looks like the first stage in designing a positronic brain is on the horizon.

    Not sure if I for one welcome our ice brained overlords, but best to get on their good side* early.

    *assuming they have one.

  3. DS999 Silver badge

    New problem for power outages

    Dammit my computer melted!

    1. trindflo Bronze badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: New problem for power outages

      Hilarious!

      Although I think what happens when the temperature isn't just right is that the cells won't change state.

      And that begs the question: how much would the temperature need to change during operation? Would it be like programming an EPROM where you set it up seldom? Or similar to the human brain where we move short-term memory to long-term memory as part of our sleep cycle?

  4. El Bard

    Lobbying for the Recognition of the Human Hair

    "Those bridges were only ten microns thick (a human hair is around 70 microns)"

    It might be time to add the human hair to the The Reg online standards converter.

    Incidentally, it could be a very practical unit for snail racing (https://hypertextbook.com/facts/1999/AngieYee.shtml)

    1 m = ‭14285.71428571429‬ hh

    Top snail speed: 0.013 m/s = 185.72 hh/s

    Slow snail speed: 0.0015 m/s = ‭21.43 hh/s

    1. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Lobbying for the Recognition of the Human Hair

      What a hairbrained idea!

  5. sitta_europea

    Is it the remnants of my covid-19 infection or did other people have trouble making sense of this article?

  6. wiggers

    "could lead to"

    How many times have we heard that with laboratory discoveries?

  7. ITS Retired

    Another idea that will always be 10 years in the future?

    Kinda sounds like it.

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